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Probably 30 years ago I read a story about a civil war. At one point the protagonist rides a bicycle through a force-field to get to a valley and stop a government supply ship. There is a sub-plot about clones and heat-sucking plants. Ring any bells?

  • Yes. A very good story, but I can remember neither author nor title just now. Off to my library... – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Jun 3 '12 at 1:53
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    BTW--This is a fine example of how to write a story-id question. The title includes several significant features of the story and the text expands on that base by putting them into the context of scenes from the story. That kind of thing reduces much of the ambiguity that can creep into these questions if they are less carefully crafted. – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Jun 3 '12 at 2:55
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"A Special Kind of Morning" by Gardner Dozois first published in New Dimenions in 1971.

I have copies in the anthologies Future War and The Best of New Dimensions.

It appears to be available as a e-publication from at least two sources.


The story is told from the perspective of an old man working as story teller on the street and relates his experiences as a foot soldier in a war that broke a world-wide totalitarian government called the Combine. The combine used genetic engineering and other manipulations to mold the populous to the roles there are expected to play. The tale concentrates on his part in a battle that destroyed an entire city with a converted Terraforming tool and the aftermath thereof.

The speaker's unit used a variety of low tech means--including the above mentioned bicycles--to defeat the technologically oriented defenses of the Combine.

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